NAIROBI, Kenya Jun 2 – The Jubilee Party will defend the Senate Deputy Speaker’s seat in a two-horse race pitting its sole candidate for the job, Prof Margaret Kamar (Uasin Gishu) against Orange Democratic Movement’s Judith Pareno (Nominated).
The two women lawmakers will square it out in the contest slated for Tuesday after three other contestants stood down in favour of their respective parties’ candidates.
Uasin Gishu Senator Margaret Kamar (Jubilee Party) and nominated Senator Judith Pareno (ODM) will square it out in the race that was occasioned by the unprecedented ouster of Tharaka Nithi Senator Kithure Kindiki two weeks ago.
Senator Kamar goes into the race with an upper hand ostensibly after the leadership of the Jubilee Party endorsed her candidature to succeed Kindiki who was ousted on grounds of being disloyal to the Jubilee party.
Kindiki, a Deputy President William Ruto ally who was once touted to be his possible running mate in the 2022 presidential election, was ousted after 54 Senators endorsed the motion.
The House Majority Chief Whip Irungu Kangata confirmed Kamar’s endorsement by the party on Monday and rallied members to support her candidature.
“Those inquiring about the Senate Deputy Speakers election all contestants are very capable and qualified. However, Jubilee supports women empowerment. I endorse Prof Margaret Kamar,” he declared.
Kamar, 61, is likely to trounce her competitor owing to the Jubille Party’s numbers in the Senate.
Jubilee Party with the help of independent party KANU who both recently forged a political alliance, the coalition boasts of 39 Senators while the National Super Alliance has 29 Senators.
Kamar, a PhD University of Toronto, Canada graduate has an upper hand of clinching the position owing to her vast political experience. She once served as Cabinet Minister during President Mwai Kibaki’s government between the period of 2011 – 2013 March, in the for Higher Education Science and Technology docket.
Kamar also served as a Member of Parliament for Eldoret East between the period 2008 and 2013. She also served in the East African Legislative Assembly as a nominated member between 2001 and 2006.
Senator Pareno’s political career dates back to 2013 when she served as a member of the East African Legislative Assembly where she served for a period of five years.
Besides Senators Kamar and Pareno, three other Senators had expressed interest to serve in the plum position including Senators Charles Kibiru (Kirinyaga), Stewart Madzayo (Kilifi) and nominated Senator Isaac Mwaura.
Senator Mwaura,Madzayo and Kibiru have all withdrawn from the race.
Nominated Senator Millicent Omanaga who is facing disciplinary action for Jubile Party over disloyalty charges had expressed interest for vie for the seat but never submitted her nomination papers as required by law.
For one to clinch the Deputy Speaker position in the first round, a contender must garner at least two thirds of the votes cast, that is 45 out of the 67 votes.